Arts and Entertainment
 

Producers are scrambling to make 'gran-coms' for older audiences

Warner Bros is shelving The Maccabees, and writer Joe Eszterhas wrote a nine-page letter to Mel Gibson giving his detailed opinion on why the plug was pulled

Film dumped but Hollywood make 'Mad Mel' sequel

For two decades, Mel Gibson was at the top of the Hollywood tree. Building on his successes as an actor, he won an Oscar in 1996 for directing Braveheart and routinely commanded salaries of more than $20 million.

Lucas has been trying to build the studios in San Francisco for 25 years

The final episode: George Lucas bows to protests and pulls plug on film studio plans

The George Lucas empire is striking back after giving up its 25-year battle to build a palatial film studio in the pastoral hills north of San Francisco.

Alison Steadman: 'A gang of lads saw me and shouted "Pamela!" It really gave me a thrill'

I was proud to be involved in the first lesbian kiss on TV It was in 1974 in a BBC play called Girl, with Myra Frances, and it got a lot of reaction at the time. Then, when Brookside came on years later, people said "Ooh, Anna Friel did this kiss with another woman, and it was the first time on TV." And I'm like, no, actually it was me!

Sean Penn's unsuspected comic talents give Sorrentino's film its lightness of touch

This Must Be the Place, Paolo Sorrentino (15)

The normally straight-laced actor is a hoot as an aimless, ageing rock star who finds redemption pursuing a Nazi war criminal in this strange, warm and humorous take on the road movie

Rampling says: 'The only way life is interesting to me - and I'm in a particular profession where I can do this - is to jump off the cliff. This is what excites me.'

Charlotte Rampling: 'I've lived with fear all my life'

She has never been afraid to bare her soul on screen – but talking about the anxieties that led to a very public breakdown has not been easy for Charlotte Rampling. Which only makes her new film all the more intriguing...

Between the Covers 08/04/2012

Your weekly guide to what's really going on inside the world of books

Lucky Break, By Esther Freud

Three characters, perfectly cast

Dom Joly: On with the motley – it's time to fool Britannia

I'm just getting ready to start annoying the people of Britain with my new TV show, Fool Britannia. We start filming in a couple of weeks, so preparation is well under way. Things have changed since I last dipped my toe into the world of hidden camera. We used to just wander into work in the morning, have a "bit of a think" and then decide what we were going to film. Maybe I would spot a milkman and mutter, "Oh, we haven't done anything with a milkman character." So we'd then drive up to a costume house, such as Angels, and root around for a milkman costume. Once we'd got this it would be nearly time for lunch – so we'd find somewhere for a nice, two-hour Continental-style break. And, hopefully, over the meal we would have come up with an idea for what to do with the milkman.

Liam Neeson

Liam Neeson - 'A sex symbol? Flattering, but I don't think so'

With five films out this year, Hollywood disagrees with Liam Neeson's view he might be past his sell-by date. The chatty star of Schindler's List tells Gill Pringle about his new nautical role – and the time he serenaded Paul McCartney with a Beatles medley...

Vincente Minnelli's The Bad and the Beautiful (1952)

The dark side of the money men

Little has changed since Vincente Minnelli's tale of a brutal producer

Both films portray Joseph Kony of the LRA as a brutal warlord

Kony 2: Sequel to video that went viral receives its online premiere

It was one of the most successful viral campaign videos ever, supported by A-list celebrities and drawing praise for making the Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony, leader of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), globally notorious.

Director of 'Shakespeare Must Die' Ing Kanjanavanit holds up a DVD the banned movie

Hubble bubble, Macbeth's in trouble as Thailand bans film

Film censors in Thailand have stepped in to ban a film based on William Shakespeare's Macbeth, claiming it could inflame political tensions.

The Pirates in an Adventure with Scientists (U) / Wrath of the Titans (12A) (4/5, 2/5)

Voices: Hugh Grant, Martin Freeman, Imelda Staunton, Brian Blessed

Last Night's Viewing: I Never Said Yes, BBC3<br />The Apprentice, BBC1

I don't know what the demographic overlap is between Independent readers and the BBC3 audience, but if you haven't been watching you might be interested to learn that the Corporation's most frivolous channel has also built an impressive record for bringing serious social issues to a younger audience. It has produced reality formats that illuminate the true cost of the cheap goods we enjoy, it's used pop presenters to explore foreign affairs and it's done thoughtful documentaries about disability issues in which disabled people serve as reporters, not just the passive subject matter. This week alone you could have watched a drama documentary about an inner-city murder on Monday, Reggie Yates exploring the world of teen gangs on Tuesday and, last night, Pips Taylor's I Never Said Yes, a documentary about the worrying gap between reported rapes and convictions. And unfortunately the last of these was an example of how good intentions aren't all you need.

Tabucchi: 'Like a comet I've traversed infinite nights,' he wrote

Antonio Tabucchi: Novelist who became a fierce critic of Berlusconi

Antonio Tabucchi was a leading Italian novelist, intellectual, academic and columnist, widely known to his countryman as a ferocious critic of former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. He regularly accused Mr Berlusconi of using his political power to further his own interests. He was also an internationally-renowned expert and professor of the literature of Portugal, which he considered his second home and where he died of cancer aged 68.

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Destructive discourse: Jewish boys look at anti-Semitic graffiti sprayed on to the walls of the synagogue in March 2006, near Tel Aviv
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As anti-Semitic attacks rise, Grant Feller re-evaluates his identity

Life and Style
food and drink

Savoury patisserie is a thing now

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Meet the primary school where every day is National Poetry Day

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people Biographer says cinema’s enduring sex symbol led a secret troubled life
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newsGlobal index has ranked the quality of life for OAPs - but the UK didn't even make it into the top 10
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people

Kirstie Allsopp has waded into the female fertility debate again

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In 2006, Pluto was reclassified as a 'dwarf planet'
scienceBut will it be reinstated?
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The moon observed in visible light, topography and the GRAIL gravity gradients
science

...and it wasn't caused by an asteroid crash, as first thought

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people
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Researchers say a diet of fatty foods could impede smell abilities
scienceMeasuring the sense may predict a person's lifespan
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Italian couples fake UK divorce scam on an ‘industrial scale’

Welcome to Maidenhead, the divorce capital of... Italy

A look at the the legal tourists who exploited our liberal dissolution rules
Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

The vintage series has often been criticised for racial stereotyping
An app for the amorous: Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?

An app for the amorous

Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid. Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?

Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid

Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

After a few early missteps with Chekhov, her acting career has taken her to Hollywood. Next up is a role in the BBC’s gangster drama ‘Peaky Blinders’
She's having a laugh: Britain's female comedians have never had it so good

She's having a laugh

Britain's female comedians have never had it so good, says stand-up Natalie Haynes
Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LED lights designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows

Let there be light

Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LEDs designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows
Great British Bake Off, semi-final, review: Richard remains the baker to beat

Tensions rise in Bake Off's pastry week

Richard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
Paris Fashion Week, spring/summer 2015: Time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris

A look to the future

It's time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris
The 10 best bedspreads

The 10 best bedspreads

Before you up the tog count on your duvet, add an extra layer and a room-changing piece to your bed this autumn
Arsenal vs Galatasaray: Five things we learnt from the Emirates

Arsenal vs Galatasaray

Five things we learnt from the Gunners' Champions League victory at the Emirates
Stuart Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

This deal gives England a head-start to prepare for 2019 World Cup, says Chris Hewett
Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?